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200,000 km – Raj women walk for water in lifetime!

Union Minister Shekhawat saysrural eves are hardest hit by water crisis

HYDERABAD, Nov 09 (BNC Network) His hard by water crisis, women are forced to walk miles. On an average, a woman in Western Rajasthan walks two lakh kilometers in her lifetime fetching water for the family, said Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat while addressing a virtual gathering of FLO (FICCI Ladies Organization) members from across India on Monday.

"Unfortunately, the burden of providing water for the family and the fields is taking a heavy toll on woman's physical and mental health. Yet she has no say in water management or distribution", he said addressing Jalasya Rakshanam, a round table discussion on India’s Water Policy, with FLO’s 17 Chapter Chairpersons from across India. FLO is FICCI Ladies Organisation

Prime Minister Modi announced from Red Fort on August 15, that the government would spend Rs 3.5 lakh crore on Jal Jeevan Mission. It is a very ambitious mission that can't be successful without people’s participation, the Minister said and appealed to all stakeholders to come forward to achieve the mission of access to piped potable water to every rural household by the year 2024.

Recalling Modiji’s clarion call, Shekhawat said ’Jal Shakti’ must become Jan Andolan’.

Water is the most useful resource. We can’t waste it. The per capita water availability per annum has now come down from 5500 cubic meters to 1500 and even less. It is declining gradually. We have become a water stressed nation, said the Union Minister.

The ministry is working towards setting up one lab in each district to test water in next three years. The water quality tests will be done on 12 parameters such as Hardness, pH, Copper, Iron, Phosphate, Chlorine, Ammonia, Chromium and others

Jahnabi Phookan, President of FLO,  said water has greater impact in our Environment, Economy and Society. The scarcity has negative impact.

Welcoming the gathering Usharani Manne, FLO Hyderabad Chairperson, recalled a disturbing piece of statistic which she came across recently. A survey conducted across some 6000 households that regularly fetch drinking water revealed that 13% of them sustain injuries in the process, the majority being women. And 25% of Indian homes still don’t have piped drinking water. Which means one in every four women spends four-hours-a-day just on fetching water.

 

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